13) San Diego Padres clinched the #4 seed in the NL and home field in the first round of the playoffs, but they’ve potentially got a mess on their hands. A big mess.
San Diego’s top two starting pitchers, Dinelson Lamet/Mike Clevinger, both left their last start with tightness in the biceps area. Not good. If those two guys can’t go in the playoffs, Paddack/Davies would start Games 1-2, with Game 3 likely a bullpen game.
(Reminder: First round of the playoffs is best-of-3, with all three games on the field of the higher seeded team, with no days off)
12) Umpires haven’t traveled much this baseball season, so teams have been seeing the same umpiring crews a lot— I’m guessing that’s going to change next week, and teams will see umps they haven’t seen all season.
11) Miami Marlins clinched their first playoff spot since 2003 Friday night; Marlins have never lost a playoff series- they won the World Series in both 1997, 2003.
Don Mattingly may have clinched Manager of the Decade already, with the job he’s done this year. Marlins put together almost a whole new team after their squad was best by COVID early in the season, but they’ve stayed the course and now will play in the playoffs. Good for them.
10) St Louis Cardinals have played 10 doubleheaders this season, and may have to play an 11th against Detroit on Monday, if they’re playoff spot is up in the air. Phillies have played eight twinbills; right now, they’re on the outside looking in.
9) Diamondbacks/Rockies were the last two major league games to play a doubleheader this year; Arizona swept a pair from Colorado Friday night.
8) Celtics 121, Heat 108 (Miami leads 3-2)
— Boston was down 7 at half, outscored Miami 41-25 in third quarter.
— Heat made only 7-36 shots behind the arc.
— Tatum had 31 points, 10 rebounds, six assists for the Celtics.
7) AL Central update:
— Reds 7, Twins 2— Minnesota leads division by a game
— Cubs 10, White Sox 0— Pale Hose have dropped six in a row.
— Indians 4, Pirates 3— Cleveland has won six in a row; they scored three times in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Chicago/Cleveland are tied for 2nd place, a game behind the Twins.
6) Indians 4, Pirates 3— Cleveland didn’t get a hit until the 7th inning, but Pittsburgh starter Keller walked eight guys in his five innings pitched. Indians won their last six games, have walk-off wins three of the last four nights.
5) Cubs’ TV analyst Jim Deshaies was a good lefty pitcher in his playing days; he holds the major league record by striking out the first eight batters of a game- no one else has ever done that.
September 23, 1986 against the Dodgers, Deshaies whiffed the first eight LA batters— Tommy Lasorda then pinch-hit for his pitcher, down 2-0. Deshaies threw a complete game 2-hitter, winning 4-0- he only struck out two more hitters the rest of the game.
4) Philadelphia Eagles are down three starters on the offensive line; they’ll have new starters at both guard positions this week.
3) San Francisco 49ers announced that backup QB Nick Mullens will start against the Giants Sunday; CJ Beathard figures to be his backup, with Jimmy Garoppolo nursing a sprained ankle.
2) Was watching an old (1991) Miami-Florida State football game the other night; was fun to hear the great Keith Jackson calling the game, with Bob Greise as his analyst. Now Greise’s son Brian is an analyst on Monday Night Football; time sure flies.
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
AL East: Tampa Bay, New York
AL Central: Minnesota, Clev/CWS
AL West: Oakland, Houston
AL wild cards: Clev/CWS, Toronto
NL East: Atlanta, Miami
NL Central: Chicago, St Louis
NL West: Los Angeles, San Diego
NL wild cards: Cincinnati, San Francisco